Quebec Is Expected To Announce New Payments To Residents — Here's What We Know So Far
UPDATE: Quebec will give $500 to every adult who makes $100,000/year or less. Get the details here.
Quebec Finance Minister Eric Girard is set to present the province's next budget on March 22. François Legault has repeatedly suggested that it will include payments to Quebecers to offset the effects of inflation.
Statistics Canada reported inflation of 5.7% in February 2022, driven largely by higher costs for fuel, food, and housing. It was the highest overall price increase for consumer goods in more than 30 years.
Skyrocketing prices led the Quebec Liberal Party to call for a freeze on Hydro-Québec's electricity rates and a suspension of the sales tax on Hydro bills and basic goods, such as toothbrushes.
Legault stopped short of promising a Hydro rate freeze but did promise to prevent increases of "4 or 5%" in 2023 to keep up with inflation.
In an apparent attempt to counter opposition criticism for a perceived lack of action to combat rising costs, the premier took to social media on March 15 with a promise to "put money back in your wallets" with the next provincial budget.
"I know that inflation is worrying you a lot," he said. "But I want to reassure you, there's a budget coming in one week [...] and we're going to help you."
"Without revealing" specific measures, he wrote in a separate Facebook post on March 12, "I can tell you that we will help you pay for increases in housing, groceries, gas and electricity."
The government has already made similar payments this year. In January, households that qualified for the solidarity tax credit benefited from additional payments of $275 (for people living alone) to $400 (for couples).
Girard touted that benefit as an "exceptional" measure to "help Quebecers cope with the cost of living."
This time around, the finance minister has reportedly suggested the payments will go to more people.
The Legault government will present details of its latest proposed budget to the National Assembly at 4 p.m. on March 22